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RE: stainless steel cable

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From: gskwy(--nospam--at)aol.com [mailto:gskwy(--nospam--at)aol.com]
Sent: Wednesday, May 25, 2005 10:29 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Re: stainless steel cable

Kids can also fall out of open windows.  Do you believe that none of the windows in a building should open.  Kids can also fall off porch railings.  Do you want to abolish all porches?
 
Codes are legal documents and, as such, rely heavily on what is reasonable.  You cannot legislate complete safety. 
 
 

 
Actually, I agree with you, Gail (which happens more than you seem to credit).
 
I was simply pointing out that the pragmatic viewpoint that you and I share is in the distinct minority these days. When you have a bunch of legislators sitting around thinking about what a great "gig" they've got, their first thoughts are going to be "what can I do to keep on doing this?" One obvious answer is "hey, I can sponsor legislation to 'protect' everyone from everything so they'll see what a great legislator I am and reelect me!"
 
A similar example to this is the base closure plan that has been reported by the Pentagon and is now being excoriated by every Senator and Representative in Washington D.C. You can't find one of them who'll speak out in favor of it, because they're all scared to DEATH to be seen as favoring something that will "lose jobs in my state/district." The fact that those jobs are paid by the public purse and thus, since our military need for domestic basing is far different than it was in 1952, represent a huge waste of taxpayers' money is beside the point.
 
So it goes with all legislation meant to "protect" the public (or, as is more often the case, some distinct subset of it). No one ever stops to figure the cost, or whether the laws make any sense (well, a very few will, like Rep. Ron Paul of Texas). It's far more important to "prove" that you're concerned by passing laws like "The Protecting Our Kids From Every Conceivable Danger To Their Life And Well-Being Act of 2005 Bill."
 
(I barely jest. Take a look on http://www.thomas.gov, and check out some of the outrageously gratuitous titles of pending legislation).


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